Friday, May 09, 2008

Verdi vs. Shakespeare in a ‘Macbeth’ Showdown: Call It a Draw

By ANTHONY TOMMASINI
New York Times

There are two gripping productions of “Macbeth” in New York right now.

The darkly theatrical, cinematic staging directed by Rupert Goold and starring
Patrick Stewart opened at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and is now at the Lyceum Theater on Broadway.

Then there is the
Metropolitan Opera’s new production of Verdi’s operatic adaptation of that Shakespeare drama, a breakthrough work for the young Verdi, first performed in 1847. The Met’s grim, boldly updated production by the director Adrian Noble, which opened in October, returns on Friday with a new cast, led by the baritone Carlos Álvarez, the soprano Hasmik Papian as Lady Macbeth, and, in the crucial role of Banquo, the formidable bass René Pape. James Levine conducts.

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